Fresh Insights Into Apostles – Part Sixteen

We are talking about apostles being master builders and laying foundations for the Church that Jesus is building.

I have noted from my years of experience that apostles are Church planters and prefer starting from scratch and building from conception forward. They really don’t like to build upon another’s foundation – although they often do because of situations and circumstances.

Paul writes, “And thus I make it my ambition to preach the Gospel, not where Christ has already been named, lest I build on someone else’s foundation.” (Romans 15:20 ESV). The Godspeed translation says, “So as not to build on foundations other men had laid.”

Since apostles are foundation layers, they generally don’t like to build upon another’s foundation. They would rather lay a new foundation when the foundation is not correct. They have the anointing to replace it with a correct foundation. This is their preference – starting fresh.

However, apostles can and do go in to already existing churches and by the grace and calling under which they function they spueraturally see the “cracks” in the existing foundations and what needs to be done to repair the foundation and return the local church to health allowing the church to begin again to win the lost and make disciples.

Apostolic anointing will be the strongest in areas, regions, or lives where a foundation needs to be laid. You don’t need foundational men when the structure has been completed, unless something is wrong with the foundation. An apostle can minister as a pastor or teacher in many cases, but will flow best when a foundation needs to be laid.

So, apostles are planters. Paul states,

“I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.” (1 Corinthians 3:6)

Apostles are happiest and most effective when they plant churches. They have the anointing to plant new works. There are many new works that need to be planted in inner cities, areas, and nations yet to be reached. In many areas in North America traditional churches are closing. These areas, often with decreasing populations, need apostles to plant new, vital and effective churches that will work in these situations.

A planter must be able to PLOW through territory that is not conducive to planting. They break up the fallow ground and plant the seed of the Word. Planters are sowers. Apostles sow their lives and ministries within the places they are sent.

Some will say that we already have enough churches and need to work on and change many of the existing ones. Pastors especially get nervous about a new church being planted in their areas. However, many existing churches are resistant to new truth and revelation. Many are traditional and fight change and are no longer effectively going into all the world and making disciples.

New moves of God produce new revelation that requires new churches to carry and preach that revelation. This is why new churches must be planted even in areas where there are already existing churches. Apostles have the authority and power to do this. They preach revelation and plant churches to carry that revelation.

Fresh Insights Into Apostles – Part Fifteen

Let’s continue our look at the ministry and role of the apostle in the Church – both in the early church and today in the Church that Jesus is building.

One of the first things to grasp is the vital necessity of apostles in all aspects of the life of the local church and that they should be involved in laying a proper foundation for the Church. If a local church is being planted then apostles should be involved right from conception onwards. If the church already exists apostolic ministry is needed to bring health and wholeness to the local congregation. As well, the apostolic ministry vistal to seeing the areas that need repair or adjustment so thet the local church moves forward into greater health and effectiveness.

So, apostles lay foundations for new expressions of the Church as well as repairing the foundations of already existing works. Paul states of his ministry “I have laid the foundation, and another builds upon it…” (1 Corinthians 3:10)

Many churches today are closing; others are ineffective; and still others are crumbling and failing under pastoral leadership. In many cases we have built “skyscraper” churches and ministries upon “chicken coop” foundations and then wonder why things are not working out.

The “foundation” is a basis (as a tenet, principle, or axiom) upon which something stands or is supported. Apostolic ministry is first because it lays foundation. You cannot build a building without first laying the foundation.

The Church is built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets (Ephesians 2:20). The correct foundation will determine whether the building will stand over a period of time. Attacks from the enemy, represented by rains, winds and floods (Matthew 7:27) will beat upon every house.

The house without a proper foundation will not be able to stand. A house is a type of the church. A church without apostolic ministry as a part of its foundation will not stand under the attacks of the enemy. This is why there are so many weak, tottering churches that are coming apart at the seams. They are not founded upon the rock of revelation.

Paul speaks of apostles as wise masterbuilders. He writes,

“According to the grace of God which has been given to me, as a wise masterbuilder…” (1 Corinthians 3:10).

The word “masterbuilder” is an architect. Architects are needed in the proper construction of buildings. The Church is called God’s building (1 Corinthians 3:9). The Lord uses apostolic ministry to lay foundation and help govern the proper construction or building of His Church. The Builder is the Lord, and the apostles are the architects He uses to construct the building.

Wise masterbuilders have the wisdom to lay a proper foundation and build upon it correctly. They have supernatural wisdom through the anointing on their ministry to know when a house is constructed correctly or incorrectly. This ability is by grace.

They have grace from the Lord to be wise masterbuilders. This is the apostle’s area of grace. How desperately the churches need this grace! The wise masterbuilder knows the importance of the foundation. They know the strength of the house is determined by the foundation of the home.

They minister foundational truths concerning the basic doctrines of the Christian faith. Upon these truths the Church of Jesus Christ can be built. They not only teach these truths but they have writing and publishing ministries so that these vital, foundational truths are made available to the Church today.